Ecovative Design LLC is a medium size, biomaterials company headquartered in Green Island, New York that provides sustainable alternatives to plastics and polystyrene foams for packaging, building materials and other applications by using mushroom technology. Ecovative is developed from a university project of founders Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre. In their Inventors Studio course at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute taught by Burt Swersey, Eben and Gavin developed and then patented a method of growing a mushroom-based insulation, initially called Greensulate before founding Ecovative Design in 2007. In 2007 they were awarded $16,000 from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. Since 2008, when they were awarded $700,000 first place in the Picnic Green Challenge the company has developed and commercialized production of a protective packaging called EcoCradle that is now used by Dell, Puma SE, and Steelcase. In 2010 they were awarded $180,000 from the National Science Foundation and in 2011 the company received investment from 3M New Ventures, The DOEN Foundation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute allowing them to double their current staff of 25.